Monday, October 14, 2013

Ella:  Mom, do you remember that verse in the Bible where it says "Amen I say to you, if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move.  Nothing will be impossible for you."

Me:  Yes.

Ella:  Well, I've got faith.  So, I went to the backyard and I looked at that pile of dirt I made, and I told it to move.  But it didn't.  It just sat there.  I guess I know why nothing happened.  The Bible also tells us that we shouldn't put the Lord to the test, and I was putting Him to the test.  It figures the dirt wouldn't move.

I love this.  This is the faith that we are all called to have.  I wish that my faith were always so pure.  If I told the dirt to move and it didn't, I would assume it was because my words can't make objects move.  That thought never even crossed Ella's mind.  She believes, and she trusts completely in God's word.  I want to be more like her.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Tooth Fairy and a Little Pocket Money

Virginia is seven years old and has lost four teeth, yet she's never put a single one of those teeth beneath her pillow.  She's told us on numerous occasions that if she knew for sure that the tooth fairy wouldn't take the tooth, she would put one under her pillow.  I've encouraged her to write to the tooth fairy and attempt negotiations, but she has been too suspicious to do even that.  Today, however, she changed her mind.  The change was prompted by her stark realization that she was totally and completely broke, with not even a quarter to spend on bubble gum.  Virginia spent the entire weekend muttering to herself about how she needed to find a way to get some money.  Get, not earn money.  Before bed this evening, she had decided that she would give the ole tooth fairy a try.  She wrote a detailed note of introduction and apology (for withholding her teeth for so long), and taped a little envelope to the letter.  She placed a single tooth in the envelope and asked the tooth fairy if she would accept one tooth in exchange for some money.  Her letter was funny and sweet, and it makes me chuckle just thinking about it.  She had already placed the letter under her pillow by the time I came to tuck her in.  I was hugging her and ready to be on my way, when she said, "Before you go, I need you to swear to one thing."  Darn it, I knew that was coming.  She told me in no uncertain terms that she needed to know whether or not I was the tooth fairy.  Her words: "So do you just sneak in here, take the tooth, and leave money?  Is that how it works?  Mom, it would be kind of weird if you were the tooth fairy because the tooth fairy once left a picture of herself under Ella's pillow, and that picture looked nothing like you.  So, that would be weird if you had left a picture of someone else.  Don't you think?" Hey, it was a really cute picture!  Ugh, anyhow, I stared at her for a minute and then began asking her questions to gauge how'd she'd take the truth.  Eventually, I decided that I had to be honest with her.  "Well, Virginia, I am the tooth fairy,"  I cried.  Yes, I cried, though she shed not a single tear.  Instead, she pumped her fist in the air and yelled, "YES!  YES!  That means I'll actually get some money!  I wasn't sure if the tooth fairy would forgive me for keeping my teeth for so long, but I know that you will!"

Later, Virginia stopped by Ella's room to tell her that now they were both in on the secret.  Then, Virginia wrapped her arms around Ella and said, "I love you so much for not telling me about the tooth fairy.  Thank you!"

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Yesterday as we were driving to swim practice, Ella asked me, "Mom, what do you like least about marrying?"  I thought to myself, "What a strange thing for her to ask."  You see, I had heard: "What do you like least about Mary?"  I have in my car, on the dashboard, a picture of a young Mary holding the baby Jesus, so I assumed she was looking at the picture and talking about Mary.  I replied, "Girl, if you think I'm gonna start talking smack about her, you crazy.  I'm not saying anything bad about Jesus' mom."  Ella's silence and subsequent "What!" quickly led me to realize that I had misunderstood her.  She repeated her question--I didn't find it appreciably less odd than what I had heard the first time. Nonetheless, I contemplated her question for a minute and answered, "Well, the thing I like least about marriage is that sometimes I have to do things someone else wants to do, even if I don't want to do them.  I have to compromise sometimes, and mommy doesn't like to compromise."  I didn't think our dialogue could get a whole lot stranger until Ella replied: "Hmm, that's odd.  I would think you'd have said something like 'all those guys I'm missing out on.'  Yep, that's what I think is gonna be hard for me.  I mean, all these guys are out there, but you promised to be with only one of them.  That's gotta be so hard."

As Daniel was tucking Jude in last night, a thunderstorm was in full force.  Daniel kissed Jude and hugged him.  Jude said, "Goodnight, Daddy.  I don't want to get dead from the thunder tonight.  But some things I want to be dead, like fish, because I like to eat fish.  And bad guys, I want them to be dead, and the devil. But not the government because the government tells us everything to do.  What is government anyway?"

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Mass Reenactment

Virginia:  Hey guys, when we get home, let's play church.  We'll have Mass for all of our dolls.
Ella:  Sure, sounds fun.  But let's pretend that priests don't have to be boys on account of Jude doesn't know how to read.
Virginia:  Okay, I'll be the priest.

When we got home, the kids brought downstairs every doll and stuffed animal that they own.  They proceeded to reenact the entire Mass.  Virginia did all of the readings from the Bible, led the songs, and distributed communion.  Ella sat in the pews and interjected every time Virginia didn't follow the proper order of the Mass.  Jude took it upon himself to sneak a little extra communion anytime Virginia wasn't looking.  Mass ended with Virginia yelling at Jude because he had finished all of the crackers and juice.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Christmas Eve 2011

Motorcycle Shop

Daniel has converted our garage into a mechanic's shop.  He and Blaine each bought a busted up old bike, and together they're repairing them, as time and money permit.  Daniel described his bike to me as  a thirty year old broken down bike that would need loads of work before it would ever run.  I believed him, so I didn't resist much when I learned of his plans to rebuild it.  Well, only a few short weeks after he bought his bike, Daniel had it up and running.  This means one of three things:

  • Daniel didn't know what he was talking about when he estimated how much work the bike would need.
  • Daniel is a mechanical whiz and can fix almost everything with little effort.
  • Daniel twisted the truth just a little so that I wouldn't freak out about him riding a motorcycle.
I am choosing to believe the second option.  

Jingle Bell Run

Ella joined the Mighty Milers, the YMCA's youth running club.  The club is for kids ages 8-12, but like most other parents, we think our kid is special and so I asked the coach to let Ella (who is only seven) join.  With the exceptions of swimming and running, Ella has virtually no interest in athletics.  It would seem that she is not a team player.  Anyhow, the coach was willing to give Ella a chance, and though she was nervous to run with all older kids, she toughed out the semester.

Daniel and I alternate running with Ella so that she can work on her endurance.  Our runs are humbling, to say the least.   I typically run about 5.5 mph (technically not even a run) and go 2-3 miles per run.  I try not to push myself-- mostly because I'm lazy, partly because I don't like to sweat.  Ella runs about 6.5 mph, and she never slows down.  When I run with her, I pant and wheeze and tell her to go on ahead of me, and I feel at the same time old and proud.  Proud of her, that is.  

Ella finished up the semester by running a 5K.  Daniel ran alongside her, while the kids and I joined Grandpa and Gigi in cheering for our favorite runners.

Our two little goons waiting to see their sister and dad run by:

Getting started:
Star runner posing with her mom:
 And the Mighty Milers group photo:
Ella finished the run, seemingly without much effort (Daniel also finished, though with a more concerted effort).

Our conversation after she crossed the finish line:
Cathleen:  Awesome job, Ella!  How was it?  I'm so proud of you!  Doesn't it feel great to finish a race?
Ella:  Ugh, I just kept wondering how much longer this race was.  I was just mad that it took so long to get to the end.  Why did it have to be so long?  Geez.

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